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      Grand Opening: M.W. Boudreaux Memorial Visitor Center

      Hundreds of people braved the wind and the cold at Mark Twain Lake this morning. They celebrated the grand opening of the M.W. Boudreaux Memorial Vistori Center. Off Route J, near the Clearance Cannon Dam, the new facility was made with the public in mind.

      The morning began with a flag ceremony and rededication of the Northeast Missouri Vietnam Memorial. Overlooking the lake, the monument pays tribute to the 45 area soldiers who lost their lives in the war. Following the dedication, came remarks from those who gave a hand in the construction of the visitors center including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. After about an hour, the public was invited inside.

      "We are just thrilled that the new center is opened today. Just over a year since we received funding for this $4.482 million facility. It is a gem here in Northeast Missouri. It is a benefit for the region and the economics that will occur here. And it's a teaching opportunity.There's local history, recreation, environmental stewardship, hydro power. It's something people should come out and see," said Sandra Spence, Mark Twain Lake's Operations Manager.

      "I came here to see all the exhibits," said Jenna Davis.

      "You get to see some animals and have fun," said Caroline Lawson.

      "My favorite thing? That thing where you crank the thing and it turns the lightbulbs on. It's really cool," said Sarah Lawson.

      The new visitor center was made possible with funding for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The public is invited to visit the center for activities, both recreational and educational.